With yet another victory on Friday evening before a packed house at Philips Arena, the Atlanta Hawks currently boast the longest winning streak in franchise history. Sunday night is another opportunity to maintain the streak, and on this occasion, the opponent happens to be the Minnesota Timberwolves.
In the interest of full disclosure, the visiting T-Wolves are not very good. Minnesota enters with the worst record in the NBA at 7-35, and they also rank 29th in the NBA in net rating, allowing 11.2 points per 100 possessions more than they generate offensively.
Flip Saunders' team does boast a legitimate budding star in Andrew Wiggins, and this isn't the typically wretched roster that you may expect. Wiggins has been electric over the past month (20.1 points, 5.0 rebounds per game), Thaddeus Young is a more than capable option at forward, and Gorgui Dieng could give Atlanta's front line fits if he plays up to his considerable potential.
With all of that on the table, there isn't a single match-up that strikes fear in the hearts of Hawks fans. DeMarre Carroll will likely see a lot of the aforementioned Wiggins, but Minnesota has been unable to sustain any sort of success without Ricky Rubio this season, and coming into Philips Arena right now is not a desirable option for any team.
This is the definition of a "trap game" spot for the Atlanta Hawks, and that is at the top of list when considering "worries" for this match-up. The Hawks are receiving praise from every corner of the NBA world right now, and with more exciting contests on the horizon, suffering a letdown during an odd Sunday evening timeslot is something that would be justifiable. Still, this group has been business-like at every turn this season, and it would be quite aggressive to suggest anything differently.
The Hawks have won 15 in a row, and 16 should be attainable with a solid effort in front of the home crowd on Sunday.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, January 25, 6:00 p.m. ET
Location: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
Radio: 92.9 "The Game" FM